Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chps. 11 & 12

          The sentence that I selected from chapter eleven was "Piedmont could fire me, bawl me out, abuse me, and put it on my record that I was an incorrigible son of a bitch, and make sure I never taught in South Carolina again, or cut off my teacher's pension" (p227).  I chose this line because in this chapter Conroy is fighting to keep his job.  Doctor Piedmont wants him fired, and willing to use every dirty trick in the book in order to make that happen.  But, Conroy is no longer afraid of what Piedmont will do because he knows that Piedmont is wrong in his actions.  Even though Conroy loses his battle with Piedmont, and loses his job on the island he comes to the realization that there is no real reason to be afraid of Piedmont that he is just a little man trying to maintain power in a changing world.  The sentence that I selected from chapter twelve was "I wanted to tell them about the river that was rising quickly, flooding the marshes and threatening the dry land" (p256).  In this line Conroy was discussing how the world is changing and how people like Doctor Piedmont and Bennington were a dying breed.  People like Piedmont and Bennington did not want things to change, and they were doing their best to make sure things stayed the same.  But, even though they got Conroy fired from the island, they could not stop the changes that had already begun to take place.  I liked how the book ended by discussing the changes that started taking place, even though they were just small changes in some ways, they were still changes that made a difference.

Conroy, P. (1972). The Water is Wide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chp. 9 and 10

             The sentence that I picked from chapter nine is "I soon decided that any human that had not been entombed on Yamacraw since birth had a vast repository of experience to share in my classroom" (p182).  I liked this sentence because it shows another way that Conroy was trying to educate his students, and introduce them to the outside world.  In this chapter Conroy has a bunch of different people with their own take on the world, and each with different backgrounds come and talk to the students.  Some of these people left a very strong impression on the children, such as Conroy's sister and Peter.  The sentence that I picked from chapter ten is "What fired the imagination of my students one week bored and stultified them the next" (p210).  In this chapter Conroy discusses how you need to keep the material interesting so that the students did not get bored.  As a way of trying to keep things interesting Conroy petitioned for a trip to Washington D.C. after he found a letter from a woman in Virginia.  After he got permission from all of the parents and got transportation along with a few chaperones, he loaded up the students and took them to Washington.  Once there the students were given a tour of a number of museums and monuments, but the one place they really seemed to enjoy was the zoo.  All of the animals excited them.  They also enjoyed staying with the families who boarded them while they were in Virginia, as well playing with the children in the neighborhood.  The trip was a educational and exciting experience for the students.

Conroy, P. (1972). The Water is Wide. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Conroy Chp 7 & 8

             The sentence that I picked out from chapter seven was "I did not take them seriously until I realized how seriously the kids took them, how they suffered under this constant humiliation, and how powerless they felt to cope with her attacks on their basic worth and  dignity."  In this line Conroy is talking about how much hated Mrs. Brown.  This chapter focuses on how abusive Mrs. Brown was to the students, and they did not trust her because of it.  There was a part in the chapter where the students became mad at Conroy for beatings several of them had received while he was away one day.  On this day Conroy had to go to the mainland for something, and he left the children a collage project to work on.  It was supposed to be completed by the time he got back to the island.  When he returned there was no collage, and Mrs. Brown told him that she had taken the belt to several students for posting pictures of naked women on the wall of the school room.  These naked pictures turned out to be works of art by Picasso.  The sentence that I picked out from chapter eight was "It is hard to pinpoint accurately the precise moment, when I lost favor with administrative juggernaut of Beaufort County."  In this chapter Conroy goes head to head with the people who run Beaufort County school system.  He has written several letters stating that he believes that Yamacraw children deserve the same education as everyone else in the county, and that there is no reason why the school board cannot pay for him to commute back and forth from the island.  They try to frighten him out of what they called his "griping", but in the end he won an allowance so that he could commute, as well setting up a fresh milk program for the students.